People outside the graphic arts are often surprised to learn that equipment and
processing costs for digital photography are actually greater than for traditional
Digital technology saves time and money “downstream” when the images
are used in various printing and publishing applications, but it requires the
photographer to spend considerable postproduction time to get the best results.
In effect, the photographer has taken over the work of the film lab, print lab and
prepress house. The specialized tools for capturing and processing high-end image
files are expensive and (as with most computer systems) are quickly obsolete.
Both digital and film techniques can yield fine images. In specific circumstances,
the photographer may prefer one or the other for technical reasons.
If the image is to be delivered digitally, it may have to be processed in several
different ways. Each destination has its own particular requirements. UPDIG, a
coalition of imaging organizations, describes current best practices for a wide
range of applications on its website, www.updig.org.
It may seem as though there are endless variations for delivering high-quality
images, but your photographer will be able to simplify the options as you
decide on your needs.